I am nothing but a home, a house, a shelter, a supply stream of nutrients, an internal bath, a sack for survival. It takes my breath away (not in the awe-inspiring sense of the word, but literally, I am very short of breath!), I puff and sigh with most moves, I get kicked and punched from the inside (this is supposed to be reassuring) and I am too uncomfortable, too tired and too “invaded” to properly enjoy some private time! I am not alone. Quite literally. This temporary occupation is due to come to an end quite soon and in the same way that I can’t wait to hold the little bundle of love, I am looking forward to inhabit my body all by myself again. Really, I am nothing but a home; the baby count down has begun.
It is a count down that sometimes moves in seconds, sometimes in hours and sometimes in lightyears. Many little warning signs are nothing but a string of false alarms, little teasers that make you sit up and sharpen your senses to then only relax again as it was nothing (much). Whereas during the 2nd trimester I used to feel shocked and occasionally taken aback by some of the changes my body seemed to be capable of, towards the end of the 3rd trimester it seems hardly worth mentioning it. Surrender is the order of the day, not because of choice but because of an intricate mixture of tiredness and the imminent loss of all available dignity. Nevertheless it is reassuring talking to other mothers who remember the internal worry of being “whale-like” and the self declared status of unattractiveness that comes with it, the realisation that it might never be the same again after birth and the insistent practise-runs of the body in preparation for birth. But after nine months you are all too aware that complaining about it is hardly going to erase those feelings. “It is all part of it”, people say happily, and they are right, but that doesn’t make it easier to cope with the bits that look so alien, the bits that are a different colour, leak or that you simply can’t see any longer.
I am nothing but a home, a house, a shelter, a supply stream of nutrients, an internal bath, a sack for survival. Right now that is my job and I need to get on with it. Or better: it needs to get on with it and I need to shut up. Any moment now or in the next 2 weeks of the baby count down, my perspective will get shifted and I will find myself on the other side of the bridge, caring about nothing else but the new baby life, whilst the house I have represented and a few leaking body parts will pale into insignificance. Daily anticipation is the order of the day: when, how and in what way will it all happen? The final unanswered questions that remain outside my control. It is not for me to know, but -like anything to do with the miracle of life- it runs all very smoothly entirely without my input. I am better off just listening for the hints.
If you are biding your time in a situation that isn’t perfect for you, if you are waiting for an injury to heal, if you are waiting for the sun to shine, if you are setting up a new venture, trying to come up with a new idea, or if you –like me- are counting down the last 10 days of a pregnancy… then you may get frustrated at the lack of control you feel. If you have all the energy, gifts and determination to go for it, but your circumstances keeping the doors shut for the time being, or for some reason “it isn’t happening” then it’s tempting to waste energy on something that is ultimately not to be changed. Surrender to the seasons of your life.
In the same way the tide doesn’t come in all at once and just like 24 hours runs through a cycle of day and night, so does life move through human seasons. That is no license to sit back and wait to be called but it is those seasons of your life that require some respect and acquiescence and soon enough you will be shown the green light. You are an important small part of a large puzzle and each part will get to play their part in turn.
Surrender to the seasons of your life and make the most of the times when life isn’t like a manic circus. In winter you could be fooled that there is little going on under the snow, within the bare branches and beyond the greyness of the day, yet all the preparation is furiously taking place to launch spring when it is time for spring.
As Sarah Ban Breathnach puts it:
Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.